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Old 06 April 2020, 11:10   #1121
grond
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Originally Posted by Bruce Abbott View Post
I think the real problem was the cost of more powerful CPUs (and associated harware) during that period. But this 'problem' turned out to be an asset for Amiga owners, because it meant they didn't have to buy a new machine every 2 years.
An asset for Amiga owners means that it was just the opposite for Commodore: their customers had no reason to give them more money because they didn't offer enough of an upgrade.


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Ironically, one of the major disappointments of the A1200 was a lack of compatibility with A500 titles. Would this have been less of a problem if Commodore had released an 020 based system earlier?
Yes, of course it would have! A500 games breaking because of the Kickstart version not being 1.2 stopped soon after 1.3 was introduced. If an 020/ECS-based successor of the A500 had been in the market together with the A3000, programmers would have adapted to it earlier when the game catalogue was still smaller.
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Old 06 April 2020, 11:38   #1122
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Everyone talks about A1200 incompatibility but I've never actually encountered any
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Old 06 April 2020, 12:19   #1123
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Originally Posted by AJCopland View Post
Everyone talks about A1200 incompatibility but I've never actually encountered any
There is some (I encountered Moonstone, for example), but it's way exaggerated then it really was.
Maybe 5 to 10% games haven't worked, but 90% of these games you could make work with various boot options.

Magazines are also to blame here, because, back in the day, some of them writes numbers like 30-40-50% of incompatibility.
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Old 06 April 2020, 17:53   #1124
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Originally Posted by Bruce Abbott View Post
Ironically, one of the major disappointments of the A1200 was a lack of compatibility with A500 titles. Would this have been less of a problem if Commodore had released an 020 based system earlier? I think not. I bought an A3000 in 1991 and just had to suck it up if a game wouldn't work (had no other Amiga to play games on because some prick stole my A1000). If I was an ardent gamer that would have been a big problem.
Yes it would have been less of a problem!
Commodore should have upgraded the Kickstart ROMs on a yearly basis ... no need to improve much, but they should have changed the locations of the Libs every time on purpose, so developers would learn NOT to use direct addresses..

It would have been a great help if they would have switched to 14Mhz 68K in 1989 on A500/A2000 ... (of course with optional turtle mode). So developers would learn not to use CPU cycles as timing ...

Same goes for the Blitter, which schould have been gradually upgraded to make use of faster RAM (and later wider bus)...

Yes all that would have helped, to educate developers, so the jump to AGA or AAA would not brake much..

And it would have helped to keep the PC at distance all the time!

Quote:
Few titles were produced that made full use of them because the market was too small.
Here is the Atari ST to blame ...

as I mentioned somewhere earlier: the world was just not big enough for both..
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Old 06 April 2020, 20:58   #1125
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Yes it would have been less of a problem!
Commodore should have upgraded the Kickstart ROMs on a yearly basis ... no need to improve much, but they should have changed the locations of the Libs every time on purpose, so developers would learn NOT to use direct addresses..
In hindsight they could have randomised addresses even for one and the same kickstart version for different production lots...
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Old 07 April 2020, 00:47   #1126
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Originally Posted by grond View Post
In hindsight they could have randomised addresses even for one and the same kickstart version for different production lots...
It amazed me how many early developers jumped willy-nilly into the 1.2 ROM even though they already knew that changes had already happened from 1.0 and 1.1. I guess they just never even considered that the A1000 existed and were too set in their ways from the C64 where the ROMs never changed.

1.3 was a big wakeup call and almost everything written after 1.3 came out works fine on 2.0 and up.
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Old 07 April 2020, 11:41   #1127
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Originally Posted by Gorf View Post
So you are telling us now, that Jay Miner was right out lying about his work?
And everyone else working with him too?
All the Los Gatos people ever said is they were working on something called a ranger. That they were, an A1000 chipset machine in a tower with slots, bearing no resemblance to the rumour version. This still exists and it's whereabouts are known, with the owner having put pictures up of it online.

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Originally Posted by Gorf View Post
sure ...
what "improvements" would that be?

please stop trolling - seriously!
A500 brought a lot of improvements.

If you look at A1000, it's across not only a motherboard but also a daughterboard, and has lots of 74xx and PALs everywhere. A500 compressed this down to one board by replacing all that glue logic with Gary chip, making the whole computer half the price. It also gave Angus the 512K slow ram capability. Those are the two most famous improvements, but they're worth paying particular attention because the Los Gatos people were actually against doing them. Go figure.

People think the original Amiga design team were some geniuses who would've lead you to the promised land if they weren't betrayed by evil commodore. They think that they're supergeniuses like tony stark or something. Really they were just average joes who had some ideas before other people did. Once they'd implemented those ideas they were no better than anyone else, they were mostly just young people still learning. Which is why the original chipset wasn't even finished by Los Gatos people.

I mean seriously they were trying to put the entire analog video circuit inside Denise. Los Gatos weed hookup must have been amazing.
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Old 07 April 2020, 14:11   #1128
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I just linked to the interview with Jay Miner here in this thread.
It does not matter if he called it "ranger" or not - it was the next generation of chips he designed.
Your "1000 tower" is nonsense... that is not what we are talking about.

The A500 has a lot of cost reductions, but no technical improvements over the A1000.
The "slow ram capability" was the worst decision ever made, combing two disadvantages.

The A1000 "daughter board" is just RAM and solely commodores fault, since they wanted a 128kb version, not accepting that a bit mapped GUI needs lots of RAM und also not accepting, that the OS was not ready for ROM yet.
(Btw: the first Atari STs from 85 also had no ROM and needed a "kickstart" TOS disk...)

All the other cost reductions could have been done for the A1000 as well .. making it a affordable desktop...
the A2000 benefited from the same cost reductions... but was sold at a much higher price, for no real reason ... making it dead in the water.

As for the glue logic an Gary: of course they had nothing ready at Los Gatos, as they could not know they where going to use Commodores CIAs as interface chips ...
So they designed the clue logic with PALs and integrated it later into Gary

Commodore Germany did exactly the same for the Buster - first discrete logic and later integrated into one chip ... Dave Haynie did the same again for the A3000 and many CPU boards...

Last edited by Gorf; 07 April 2020 at 15:41.
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Old 07 April 2020, 15:30   #1129
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Originally Posted by Kyle_Human View Post
I mean seriously they were trying to put the entire analog video circuit inside Denise.
AFAIU they were planning to put NTSC composite signal generation on-chip, which is in fact a very reasonable choice for a game console. The PPU in the NES/Famicom has analog composite out, the VIC-II in the C64 has analog Y/C outs...

Or do you want to insinuate they wanted to do RF modulation on-chip? Then please give a source.

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Los Gatos weed hookup must have been amazing.
Projection, projection, projection...
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Old 07 April 2020, 15:48   #1130
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Originally Posted by Gorf View Post
Your "1000 tower" is nonsense... that is not what we are talking about.
.
It's ranger. That's what ranger is. There is no other. Not even a shadow of one, just imaginations.

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Originally Posted by Gorf View Post
The A500 has a lot of cost reductions, but no technical improvements over the A1000. The "slow ram capability" was the worst decision ever made, combing two disadvantages.
Cost reduction is in itself a technical improvement by definition, and slow ram was proven a very good idea. It opened the doorway to higher chipram capable agnes as a plugin upgrade, the connections are already there. Without the slowram revision the A2000 would have been permanently with only 512k chipram. Good luck video toasting with that.


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Originally Posted by Gorf View Post
The A1000 "daughter board" it just RAM and solely commodores fault, since they wanted a 128kb version, not accepting that a bit mapped GUI needs lots of RAM
The daughterboard isn't for system ram, and it isn't because of some mythical 128K version of the A1000. The reason that the WCS lives on a daughterboard is the A1000 glue takes up too much space.

It's wrong to say Los Gatos didn't design Gary because of not knowing about CIA chips, because at the time Commodore bought Amiga the chipset was nowhere near finished, and Commodore themselves finished it. Before Commodore there was only TTL breadboards, no chips.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jay miner
Commodore was very good for AMIGA in the beginning. They made many improvements in the chips. Commodore made a lot of improvements in the things that we wanted but we did not have the resources to accomplish. The AMIGA originally only had three hundred and twenty colours across the screen, even in the six forty mode. They helped us put in full colour in the six forty mode. They also improved the colour by moving the NTSC converter off the chip.
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Old 07 April 2020, 16:33   #1131
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Originally Posted by Kyle_Human View Post
.
It's ranger. That's what ranger is. There is no other. Not even a shadow of one, just imaginations.
No it's not ... only your "A1000 tower" is imagination.

When we talk about the "ranger chipset", we are talking about the last chips designed by Jay Miner. Here AGAIN his interview from 1988:
http://www.amigahistory.plus.com/jayminerinterview.html
Quote:
Cost reduction is in itself a technical improvement by definition, and slow ram was proven a very good idea.
No it definitely has proven to be a terrible idea. For obvious reasons.
Making it real FastRAM would have cost only cents.
Making it real ChipRAM would have added no costs to the board at all (as the A500plus proves)



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It opened the doorway to higher chipram capable agnes as a plugin upgrade, the connections are already there.
They had TWO YEARS to modify Agnus (NOT Agnes) to support more than 512KB, but did not manage do so...
So calling Commodore beging its typical incapable self "opening the doorway" is ridiculous.


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Without the slowram revision the A2000 would have been permanently with only 512k chipram. Good luck video toasting with that.
??? How did slow ram help with video editing?


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The daughterboard isn't for system ram, and it isn't because of some mythical 128K version of the A1000.
Really: please stop telling all that nonsense here.
It is not so hard to get some correct informations about the history of the Amiga. I really don't understand, what your goal is, bringing up all that fake news..

There ist nothing "mystical" about a 128kB version - that is what Commodore was seeing in the original Apple Mac 1984. So management thought: if it works for Apple, it will work for us.
Not recognizing that the original Mac was close to useless because of the lack of RAM (it got upgraded to 512KB in 85).
And not understanding that colour needs more RAM than just one monochrome bitplane ...

So the A1000 case and motherboard size was not planned big enough.
It is actually smaller than the A500 board.
(The A1000 is wider than it is deep ... so it would have been no problem to make it more square and gain some space...)

Also the space under the Floppy-Drive is almost empty in the original board revision ... later that space is used to get rid of the piggyback-board.


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The reason that the WCS lives on a daughterboard is the A1000 glue takes up too much space.
no - is just because it was not planned to hold that amount of RAM.
(See above)
Or to have a "WCS" at all, since that was planned as ROM ...

Quote:
It's wrong to say Los Gatos didn't design Gary because of not knowing about CIA chips, because at the time Commodore bought Amiga the chipset was nowhere near finished, and Commodore themselves finished it. Before Commodore there was only TTL breadboards, no chips.
Again: please stop spreading this nonsense here.
just some posts above you were told, that Amiga managed to integrate it's chips already before the purchase.

These chips where manufactured by a different manufacturer (Synertek) and where demonstrated in public.

Last edited by Gorf; 07 April 2020 at 16:52.
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Old 07 April 2020, 19:49   #1132
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When Brian photographed the Ranger it seems he only got good photos of the backplane and of the "Garganturam" card (presumably a large fast ram expansion). There were two other cards plugged into the backplane that I can't find good photos of, but they seem to have more interesting chips on them that I can't identify due to not enough resolution/bad angle.

This is the best shot I could find of the two cards (the garganturam is the third one in the back)

http://obligement.free.fr/gfx2/ranger_cartes_zorro.jpg
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Old 07 April 2020, 19:53   #1133
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Even with few money they could have pumped ECS/OCS a lot and bring as somenthig a lot better than Aga.

They loved more share bonus, than working on Next Amiga... Come on, better and faster blitter and copper, and Paula of course wasn't so difficult to do
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Old 07 April 2020, 21:14   #1134
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Even with few money they could have pumped ECS/OCS a lot and bring as somenthig a lot better than Aga.

They loved more share bonus, than working on Next Amiga... Come on, better and faster blitter and copper, and Paula of course wasn't so difficult to do
Exactly!

and so we finally can come back to the thread: and that is why I was disappointed with the A1200 (or AGA in genreal - but this goes hand in hand).
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Old 07 April 2020, 23:31   #1135
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Even with few money they could have pumped ECS/OCS a lot and bring as somenthig a lot better than Aga.

They loved more share bonus, than working on Next Amiga... Come on, better and faster blitter and copper, and Paula of course wasn't so difficult to do
This is a the part of the story I don't think I've heard too much about. We've all heard that AAA was taking too long and marketing ppl got tired of waiting so AA /AGA was done, but I've never heard an explanation from an engineer involved in the process about the reason why they couldn't fix a seemingly easy thing as doubling the 16-bit data transfer to 32-bit with Copper & Blitter (I would have forgiven them same old Paula ;-)
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Old 08 April 2020, 03:05   #1136
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@eXeler0

I think the overestimate themselves and underestimate others' capabilities. If the add full 32bit 14mhz support for both blitter and copper, better ram access and new paula, you'lle get a real powerfull Amigas' chipset with easy.
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Old 08 April 2020, 11:03   #1137
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I think Commodore assigned ridiculously small engineering teams to product development. They started lots of projects only to cancel them. For some they cancelled engineers were even threatened to get fired if they were found working on them in secrecy. These stories always sounded to me like there was a horrible lack of management, vision and leadership in Commodore. They clearly had the means to do much better.
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Old 08 April 2020, 11:27   #1138
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I think Commodore assigned ridiculously small engineering teams to product development. They started lots of projects only to cancel them.
here is an old "Infoworld" article from 1986:
https://books.google.de/books?id=RS8...page&q&f=false

It is quite amazing, that some engineers stayed at commodore at all...
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Old 08 April 2020, 21:28   #1139
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here is an old "Infoworld" article from 1986:
https://books.google.de/books?id=RS8...page&q&f=false

It is quite amazing, that some engineers stayed at commodore at all...
Interesting article.. Seems they were in trouble often, however this was in '86 when the A1000 was still the only Amiga.

This good old graph shows the profitable years after the launch of the A500 in '87
https://dfarq.homeip.net/wp-content/...and_profit.png
until there was another dip in 1990 but then some more profit 1991-92.
So they were at least not "in the red" during the years before AGA was launched.
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Old 08 April 2020, 21:36   #1140
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No it's not ... only your "A1000 tower" is imagination.

Here we are, The Commodore Amiga Ranger. Amiga 1000 technology in a tower, complete with the Zorro I cards. They're like Zorro II but square instead of rectangle. I bet you'll get angry and deny that they're square too.







Funny looking imagination I have, that my imagination appears known to other people before it's known to me, that it's solid and they pick it up and touch it! Am I a green lantern?



There is a lot wrong with your post, because you don't understand simple things explained to you. I told you plainly that the point of slowram is to wire agnes for 1mb address space, so they could later make 1mb chipram agnes. It's a staggered upgrade, this is common practice in all kinds of electronics.


The rest of your post is no better and not worth my time.
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